10 Steps on how to apply for UK Health and Care Visa: Become a Care Worker in the UK (Crucial steps to obtain the Health and Care Visa)

How to apply for UK Health and Care Visa from Nigeria 

Step 1

Gather your documents

-Ensure you have a valid passport with at least 6 months left on it. Please ensure that you have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

-Birth Certificate is needed. If you do not have yours, please go to the corporate body to get one. Ensure the name and date of birth on your birth certificate matches with the details on your passport. If your names do not match, go to a court and get an affidavit to ensure your names match.

-A driving license may be needed especially if you apply to do domiciliary care. This is where you could be driving to different peoples houses to provide care as opposed to working in a care home where you will be situated in one place. Having a driving license will be attractive to many UK employers as you can drive in the UK for 1 year on an international driving license. You will then have to switch to a UK License before the 1 year is up.

-Ensure you gather your school certificates as well as any additional study you may have done (Degree/masters/PHD etc)


Step 2
English Proficiency and Experience

-Complete the IELTS UKVI either general/academic exam (you must achieve at least a band 4 but most UK employers will require a 5 or 5.5 band)

-Get your care certificate -This can be done online. Ensure you get a certificate/preferably one that is accredited.

-Volunteer in a hospital/care facility to get the needed experience. Volunteer for at least 3-6 months. This can be flexible based on the agreement you have made with the organization.

Step 3
Prepare your CV and Cover Letter

-Prepare a good CV specific to the jobs you want to apply for. You will have to tailor your CV and cover letters for the type of jobs you want to apply for.

Step 4
Search for a job

Apply to as many jobs as you can find. Ensure that the jobs you are looking for are from employers that can give a visa sponsorship.


Step 5
The Job Interview

This will usually be held through zoom/teams/skype. Some employers may make you do a quick quiz to test your knowledge. This is why completing the care certificate course and gaining the experience is crucial. If they are impressed with you, they will send you an offer letter and a contract of employment. Please ensure you check the contract properly. Ensure you are not held into any clauses that may mean that you have to pay any money if you break your contract and move to another employment.


Step 6
Employment Checks

By law, the employers will need to do their due diligence to ensure that you are who you say you are and have done what you have claimed to have done.

-Employer will ask for references. Ensure you have your health/care reference available for them.

-Employer will also ask for a police clearance from your country.

-Employer may ask you to do a DBS as well (UK equivalent of a police clearance) in the UK

-Employers can also ask for a medical report to ensure you do not have any health ailments/diseases that may prevent you from carrying out your job. Be as honest as possible here and declare everything.

-Be prepared to fill out a lot of forms at this stage such as your measurements for your uniform etc.

-At this stage, they may also ask if all the certificates you stated in your CV are accurate and you were being honest about everything you declared in your CV.

-Employers can ask for your proof of address back home


Step 7
Sponsorship & Visa

-Employers will now issue you with a COS (Certificate of sponsorship). On this document, you will have a unique reference number. The document will detail how long your visa is or how long the contract is going to last for as well as how much you will be earning annually. The document will also have a section called 'maintenance' which is where the employer certifies if they will provide maintenance for you and your dependents. If the employer ticks the maintenance part, you do not have to prove you have money in your bank account when you apply for the visa. (No bank statements needed if this is the case)
This tells UK immigration that the employer will take care of you in the first few months if needed.

If the employer does not tick the maintenance section, you need to then prove that you have money in your account. You must have at least £1270 in your bank account to show that you can support yourself in the UK. You will need to have the money available for at least 28 days in a row. Day 28 must be within 31 days of applying for this visa.

This is the most important stage and when you get your COS, it is okay to resign from your job at this stage and only at this stage.

The COS is what you will then use to apply for your visa.

Documents you need to apply for your Health and Care Visa

-Valid Passport
-Police Clearance
-TB Test certificate
-Job offer letter with a signature from both you and your employer


Step 8
Flight & Arrival

-Depending on the employer, some may pay for your flight and when you start work for them, you pay them back. Some may also pay for your visa application. However, some employers may require you to pay for everything yourself.

-Usually, the employer will send someone to meet you at the airport and will take you to temporary accommodation. Ensure you find out from the employer what accommodation they will be providing before you bring any of your dependents with you. Hence, it is advised you come alone and get familiar with the surroundings and where you will be first. At least for the first 1- 3 months before you bring your family.


Step 9
Register with a GP etc


Step 10
Enjoy your new career and life in the UK

-Ensure you keep to the rules of employment and you and your family will be fine.



1.) What are the health and care visa UK requirements?

The Health and Care Visa UK requirements are:

-Valid Passport

-Police Clearance

-TB Test Certificate


-COS (Certificate of Sponsorship)

-Job offer letter with a signature from you and your employer


2.) What is the UK Health and Care Visa Processing Time?

The processing time for the UK Health and Care Visa depends on the individual circumstances of each applicant but it typically takes 3-4 weeks.

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